These kelp abstracts come from the mass of kelp that is an integral part of the beach eco-systems of the cold Atlantic Ocean – the composting of the rich gardens of the sea. There is a particular smell to the Atlantic here at the far south of Africa (not quite the most southern tip, but almost) and it is impossible to describe. However, one recognises it instantly when one smells it, a zillion neurons of memory exploding into activity. A large part of the complex smell is to do with the decomposing kelp – shiny, rubbery, slippery when freshly washed up from the sea, dry and crackling later, crawling with flies in between, food for many a sea-bird.
I love the way it becomes wrapped and tied around the rocks, a natural ‘installation’ that brings to mind the monumental wrapping projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The warm Indian Ocean, just a few kilometres away, smells entirely different.